Anti-Semitic incidents reach record high in Britain

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain hit a record high last year, with reactions to the conflict in Israel and Gaza last summer the biggest factor accounting for the jump, a charity said Thursday.

The Community Security Trust said it recorded 1,168 incidents across the country in 2014 – more than double the 535 cases documented in 2013, and the highest yearly total since the group began monitoring anti-Semitism in Britain in 1984.

Mark Gardner, a spokesman for the charity, said last month that it received an unprecedented number of calls from Jewish people fearing a Paris-style terror attack in Britain.

Concerns about anti-Semitism in Europe have risen after a kosher supermarket was targeted in France’s deadliest attacks in decades. Most of the reported incidents were not as extreme.

“The most common single type of incident in 2014 involved verbal abuse directed at random Jewish people in public,” the group said in a report. Other forms of abuse included hate mail, threats and abuse on social media, graffiti, and the damaging of Jewish property.

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands

Chemical weapons council condemns chlorine use

The global chemical weapons watchdog on Wednesday condemned the use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria as a breach of international law and said those responsible should be brought to justice.

The executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons expressed “serious concern” at a fact-finding mission’s recent report that concluded “with a high degree of confidence” that chlorine was unleashed on three villages in northern Syria from April to August last year, killing 13 people.

The fact-finding mission’s report did not apportion blame for the attacks.

– From news service reports